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The Academy of Civic Life would not be possible without our partners. We are proud of the community we have built through this network of organizations committed to supporting our students. 

The Teagle Foundation

The Academy of Civic Life was made possible through The Teagle Foundation, which has provided two grants through their Knowledge for Freedom Initiative. Knowledge for Freedom programs invite high school students from unserved communities and historically marginalized and disenfranchised groups to engage with foundational literary and philosophical texts about community engagement and responsibility. 

Knowledge for Freedom programs have three core elements: 

  1. Summer course between junior and senior years;
  2. School-year project-based experience during senior year;
  3. Support through college and financial aid application processes. 

The Teagle Foundation supports Knowledge for Freedom programs because they are committed to giving students access to intellectually challenging and stimulating course work, meaningful community engagement opportunities, and application support.

The Academy of Civic Life at Stony Brook University is proud to join nineteen other prestigious institutions including Yale University, New York University, Columbia University, and Boston University in hosting a Knowledge for Freedom program. With the Teagle Foundation’s support, we have joined a national movement that mentors students from financially disadvantaged communities and supports equitable access to higher education.


AmeriCorps VISTA 

The Academy of Civic Life has partnered with AmeriCorps to bring an AmeriCorps VISTA staff member to campus to work on anti-poverty initiatives. The "College Access Programs Coordinator" will make college more accessible for historically marginalized and underrepresented students in Suffolk County by designing and expanding education programs at Stony Brook University. We are currently recruiting for this position: click here to learn more!

AmeriCorps is a national, government-run service program. AmeriCorps VISTA members work to alleviate poverty by helping local organizations. As full-time team members for one year, VISTA Members gain professional experience and leadership skills. They are prepared for a life of service in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. At Stony Brook University, the AmeriCorps VISTA Member will provide support to make education more accessible for underserved high school students. 

Suffolk County Human Rights Commission

The Academy of Civic Life has partnered with the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission (SCHRC) to create a Suffolk County Junior Human Rights Commission. The SCHRC is committed to addressing issues of discrimination, bias, prejudice, and inequity in Suffolk County. They seek to promote respect and understanding among all groups and support educational opportunities that work to improve the quality of life for and address issues of inequity among members of our community. 

Under our collaboration with the SCHRC, rising high school seniors from Long Island will complete an intensive summer course with the Academy. During their senior year, the students will be instated as Junior Human Rights Commissioners. As Junior Commissioners, they will work with SCHRC Committees to design and implement community engagement projects that address pressing issues in the Suffolk County community. 

The Commission will provide students with resources to help them plan and implement the community engagement projects. At the conclusion of the academic year, after the students will have been working on their projects for nine months, they will present their projects at a banquet for their peers, families, and the Commissioners. Members of the SCHRD will attend and provide feedback about future ways to expand the projects. 

One of the goals of the Academy is that students in our program will be empowered to enact real and positive change in their communities. Our partnership with the SCHRC will help students to understand their agency in designing and carrying out projects, and it will provide them with mentorship and support that will be integral to their success. 

Educational Opportunity Program

The Academy of Civic Life is proud to partner with Stony Brook University’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). EOP was established as a New York State initiative to provide access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students who have the drive and potential to succeed in a college environment, but who may not be fully prepared for the college experience because of their academic and financial backgrounds. The EOP works to recruit and graduate students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds by providing educational support. The EOP’s mission closely matches the goals of the Academy of Civic Life. We have partnered with the EOP to work together to increase college access for Suffolk County high school students.   

High school students who participate in the Academy of Civic Life will meet EOP staff, who will teach them more about the EOP. Students who successfully complete the Academy’s summer program will receive priority consideration if they apply to the EOP at Stony Brook University. 

In addition, Academy participants will have the opportunity to work closely with current EOP undergraduate students whose backgrounds and stories might align with their own. The Academy of Civic Life will hire EOP students as Undergraduate Teaching Assistants for the Academy of Civic Life. The Academy will provide extensive training and support for TAs, empowering them to teach and lead students during the Academy’s Summer Residency component. Academy high school students will see elements of their own identities reflected in the successful EOP TAs, and the TAs will be able to serve as positive role models and mentors. 

Stony Brook University Partners 

We would like to thank all of our Stony Brook University partners, without whom this program would not be possible. We extend  our gratitude to the following departments and programs for the support they have provided to the Academy of Civic Life. 

The Center for Civic Justice for playing an integral role in the initial planning and grant process for the Academy of Civic Life. The Center for Civic Justice has continued to be a key partner in the program’s development and implementation. 

The English Department for providing the Academy with financial and administrative staffing support through a TA line for our Graduate Student Undergraduate TA Coordinator/Instructor position. Representatives from the English department also participated in the development of the initial planning grant for the program. 

The Institute for Globalization Studies for housing the two courses offered by The Academy of Civic Life and playing an integral role in their development, approval, and adoption. The Institute for Globalization Studies has offered additional ongoing administrative support by providing the Academy with an office location to centralize our operations.

Hispanic Languages & Literature for their support during the planning and funding process and the contributions of a departmental representative during the initial grant development.

Humanities Institute for their help in conceptualizing the program, writing the initial planning grant, and obtaining funding so that the Academy could move forward. The Humanities Institute continues to serve as an intellectual partner for the Academy of Civic Life. 

School of Communication and Journalism for the contributions of a program representative during the conceptualization and development of the GLI courses and the initial grant and funding process. 

We extend a special thank you to members of the planning committee Steven Adelson, Amy Cook, Zachary Dowdy, Adrian Perez Melgosa, Susan Scheckel, and Adrienne Unger.